I know that when planning a wedding, 99% of all couples have a budget. They try to remain within that budget and cut corners where necessary. Sometimes they use friends or family to help out to save costs.  Having friends and family help with decorating the venue, creating the wedding favors, or cooking the meal is great. Whatever works for your style and vision for your wedding.

The one thing to NOT cut corners on and ask a friend do for free is your wedding photos. I have seen this suggested on blogs and magazine articles too many times to count. It is a terrible idea. Not only does it put lots of pressure on your friend to produce amazing photos to last a lifetime, but unless your friend is a professional wedding photographer I promise your photos will be subpar. They may end up being ok photos, but is that what you want for the most special day of your life? If you are looking at wedding packages and the prices are too high, then do some price comparison online and then ask for an hourly rate and scale back on the time for your photographer to the essentials, such as the wedding ceremony and some family photos. You can save by saving the photographer time. You are paying for their skills AND time. If you expect them to be at your wedding, the getting ready time for the bride, the family photos, and the full reception you may be looking at a 6-8 hour chunk of time! That will get expensive. If you can par the time down to a 2 hour window and then find a photographer who is a willing to do an hourly rate, you will be much happier with your most important photos being done by a professional. If you can budget right and get the entire photography wedding package that is an even better plan!! You can also often pay for rights to your photos, or for the release. This can be worth it if you want to get wedding photos enlarged on canvas to hang in your home, or you want to print your own wedding books on a site such as mypublisher.

Don’t risk your precious once in a lifetime memories to a friend who is doing it for free. Even if they have a great camera it doesn’t guarantee they can take fabulous photos! It takes time behind a camera, years of experience, the best equipment, and training to be a GREAT photographer. Isn’t that what you want for your memories?

My brother initially asked me to do his wedding photos. I said “no, you need to hire someone”. He thinks my photos are good, so if they are good enough for Facebook why wouldn’t they be good enough for his wedding. 😂😂😂 No. Just no. I shared my photos from his wedding on my blog in a previous posting-Justin and Katsuree’s Wedding. I took these photos with my nice-enough camera and the photos are ok. Again, is “ok” what you want for your memories?? No, so hire a professional. My brother did and they are thankful for the beautiful professional photos!

He hired a friend of mine who I know from my Moms of Multiples Club. Her name is Sara Erlinger and she is a professional photographer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who is amazing at what she does!! Her company is SME photography: http://smephotography.net/about-me/. She also has a Facebook page for her business: https://www.facebook.com/SmePhotographyFtWorthTX/. Check out her work, as she does newborns, children, families, and more. Her work is so good!! Brielle and I just did a “Mommy and Me” session with Sara and I can’t wait to see the photos!

A simple comparison between my photos and her photos of my brother’s wedding is proof enough as to why a professional should always be hired for a wedding, whether your wedding is a huge blowout event or a small intimate event. Every bride and groom deserved photos to last a lifetime that enhance the memories of that day. Professional photographers have a gift and ability to do this.

Make sure you look at plenty of photos from the photographers you are considering hiring. If you like photos that aren’t posed and are more action, then make sure that is what’s in your photographers portfolio. Find a photographer that matches the style for what kind of photos you want to hang in your home in the future. Do you prefer posed photos? Do you like actions shots? Or do you prefer more artsy photography shots? Every photographer has their own style so make sure what you want for your wedding matches their style of photography.

Below are the photos that Sara took at Justin and Katsuree’s Wedding. She did an amazing job!! Head and shoulders above the photos I took. Proof is in the results. Hire a professional photographer for your event. You are worth it and so are your memories.